On April 11, the VCReporter published The Crow’s Nest column entitled The ongoing investigation of Oxnard mayor battery charge. It addressed an alleged incident between Oxnard Mayor Tim Flynn, who is an Oxnard high school teacher by day, and one of his students. As of Tuesday, May 7, the incident is still under investigation by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department.
On April 22, the VCReporter received a letter from Flynn’s attorney, Frederick Rosenmund, which demanded a retraction from this newspaper and stated that some of the content in the article was false and libelous. First, Mr. Flynn’s attorney states that there is no evidence whatsoever that Flynn “is absent from his teaching post more often than most.” While the VCReporter does not have Flynn’s attendance record, this assertion was made to the writer of the article by a credible high-level source from within the school administration. This newspaper has subsequently made a Freedom of Information Act request for Flynn’s record of attendance and is awaiting response.
Flynn’s attorney further asserts that the article’s statements that Flynn “flung the student’s backpack toward the door,” and that “Flynn put his hands on her in some agitated state,” are utterly false and fly in the face of the school’s investigation and witness accounts. These contrary statements in the article were stated, however, by very solid sources claiming to be knowledgeable about the investigation.
Finally, Flynn’s attorney argues that the article wrongly concludes that Flynn used his influence to impede or prevent an investigation of the incident alleged by the student. The VCReporter wants to make it perfectly clear that the article never asserted or implied that Flynn was directly or indirectly influencing or impeding the investigation, yet the writer of the article has every right to wonder whether the mayor’s position, by its very nature, can have a detrimental effect on the speed of any police investigation.
The VCReporter has reached out to Mr. Flynn for an interview for this article, but he declined. According to Eric Buschow, public information officer for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, as of May 7, the sheriff’s investigation into this matter is ongoing. When the investigation has been concluded, the findings will then be sent to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, who has up to one year to file charges based on the findings.